And by that I do not mean the marines landing in La Guaira tomorrow. It will not happen. We are in the XXI century and things are done in other effective ways, as needed.
The title comes because the opposition is STILL collapsing further, in an hopeless slump that stops it from benefiting from any bonus point undeservedly thrown its way.
This past week has rather been momentous. And yet from the Tweeter world of the opposition you will read little. The latest debate was on what kind of music it should hold at its rallies (not the one they picked for sure). Another was on representative Guanipa briefly arrested and assaulted by the regime goons. When he was evicted from the seat of elected Zulia governorship he dutifully won, I do not recall such support. Then it was Capriles contradicting himself and reinventing his heroic legend (past mistakes suddenly explained). Never mind the uproar on a putative Trump landing in Venezuela which saw even more negative coverage within the opposition than inside chavismo (I repeat, there will be no military intervention, except perhaps a limited one at the Colombian border). And so on, from useless quarrels to ludicrous complaints passing through the wrong fears.
And yet it was a terrible week for the regime. In no particular order.
The new batch of US sanctions AGAINST INDIVIDUALS NOT THE COUNTRY, included some of the inner circle of Maduro, namely the first lady and his defense minister, his sole support. What I did not read much was on the true meaning of those. For me they were spared so far in the vain expectation that they would avoid falling into that ban by pushing out Maduro. But all thugs are the same: just as Diosdado saw the intercession of Shannon as a mark of weakness, so did these ones see the lack of sanctions as a weakness in the US. Now they are all in the frying pan without easy way out and thus forced to bring more trouble to all. But what else could have been done with these gangsters? Postponing conflict is just that, postponing. One day you will have to confront evil.
The UN General Assembly took place last week. Yet another unmitigated disaster. Maduro on the last minute went on a lure that actually Trump might meet with him in some hallway like Obama did in Panama once to berate him. But of course Trump did not do it and pushed Maduro in some ridicule, the more that Maduro could not compensate through any significant bilateral meeting. Never mind that during his protocolar speech the auditorium was nearly empty. At the UNGA you cannot go and improvise. Which did not stop Maduro from having his minsters wait for him at his return while they cheered him as he claimed a great political victory.
But a political victory it was not. While the UNGA took place 5 countries decided to finally put down their request to the International Criminal Court at The Hague to investigate Venezuela for crimes against the humanity derived from repression in 2017, 2014 and overall in general. Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Colombia signed, during the UNGA. Sure enough this does not guarantee that the ICC will emite a verdict any time soon, or even open up a formal proceeding, but it will speed up things and is, at any rate, a humiliation for the regime. But things got worse fast. Canada decided to join in, once it was clear it was first a Latin American initiative; and yesterday France supported the initiative, the first but surely no the lone European country to follow soon. The irate Venezuelan response to France was a text book case on how NOT to respond to such a thing. I mean, calling Macron an ultra-right, placing him to the right of Marine Le Pen? Gimme a break!
And let's not forget that Pence and Trump refuse to take off the table some direct "intervention" going as far as poking fun to how fast the Nazional Guard run for cover the day of the voluntarily failed attack on Maduro (who must think there is a UN FBI as he requested an investigation by the UN, now that conveniently all traces have been wiped out and manipulated.
For the gossipy part of the debacle, the Maduro agent, former Spanish premier Zapatero, has been called imbecile by OAS secretary Almagro which for all practical purposes kills any potential at fostering dialogue he may think he still had.
Meanwhile back at the ranch we learned that the inflation of the last month was around 200% wiping off the paycheck sudden gains of August 15. I made a mistake, I thought that the gains would be felt until late October. They did not. And this will push more emigration as more exodus documentaries are published, with the now real promise that 2 million Venezuelan may have left since 2017.
And the new Chinese loan of 5 billion that Maduro had to go to Beijing on his knees to ask, well, it turns out that China may not give it all, and only as long as it can control directly how it is spent.
And yet the opposition, instead of trying a serious effort to speak as a single voice and take advantage of the situation, remains immersed in its internal sabotages, more broken in more pieces as days go by. Desolating...
Never mind. The world has decided to act, probably pushed, in addition of the refugee crisis, by the perspective of new left in Mexico and Brazil that will stop their criticism of Maduro (but without supporting him, just impossible). How will that exit happen?
First, sanctions are going to keep coming against more individuals and possibly threaten further the already sanctioned as they may soon be unable to leave Venezuela (in addition of all their "belongings" confiscated overseas).
A more desperate Maduro will make a mistake, like at the Colombian border. "la politique du pire" coined during the French revolution when a government chooses the worse case scenario as its mode of action to force final issues at any cost. That will lead to real problems.
And what about intervention? In an age of drones, satellite spying and global interconnections, there are many, many ways to intervene against a rogue regime without wasting a single drop of blood. My favorite is a possible limited intervention at the Colombian border where, after a Maduro idiotic provocation, Colombians seize a couple of thousand of square miles to install all the refugee camps, paid for by the UN and not Colombia. It will work because Venezuelans will get better food and healthcare in an UN tent at the border than what they could have gotten at home.
But the real aim of these threatened interventions is that finally an opposition group coalesces to get ready to reach power. Until then, do not expect much more to happen until at least the ICC puts Maduro on trial.
It is amazing to see that the world is more interested in terminating the Maduro regime than some within the opposition....